Governor shortens speech in Assembly, says doors are open for dialogue with HNLC

Shillong, Mar 13: Meghalaya Governor, Tathagata Roy said that doors are open for dialogue with the outlawed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) provided they give up their unlawful activities.

Roy, in his address to members of the State Assembly on the first day of the Budget Session on Friday, informed that the militant outfit has also expressed its desire to come over ground for talks.

“Militancy in the State is completely under control. With very few cadres based in Bangladesh, the HNLC’s activities are confined to issuing press releases and posting in social media,” Roy said.

“The government reiterates its stand that doors are open for dialogue provided they give up their unlawful activities,” Roy said.

Moreover, he said the government has been rehabilitating the surrenderees and disbanded militant cadres under revised scheme for surrender-cum-rehabilitation of militants in the North East.

The HNLC, which claims to carry out its hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland in Meghalaya.

Meghalaya shares a 444 km long border with Bangadesh part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltrations.

On the other hand, Roy informed that fencing has been erected for 329.160 Km along the State’s Indo-Bangla border.

He said the government is committed to complete the remaining fencing on the international border with Bangladesh at a fast pace to effectively contain the influx of Bangladeshi nationals, trans-border movement and activities of militants besides anti-social elements.

Governor cuts short speech

The Governor also did not read all text written in the Governors’ Address citing time constrain.

Instead of reading the full text of the 32-page Governor’s Address, Roy ended within 45 minutes after skipping a number of paragraphs.

The Governor after reading the first two paragraphs said, “I shall now seek the kind indebted of all honorable members, because of time constraint; I shall not be able to read the entire speech. Instead, I shall read only certain portion which I consider it important. I request you to take the rest as read.”

However opposition Congress legislator, P T Sawkmie raised the issue in the House and termed it an “insult” to members of the House, the way the Governor has delivered his address.

However Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh said that the Governor has already requested the members of the House to take the rest of his speech as read even though he has not read all the text.

The Speaker it was urgent as the Governor has to catch a flight to Kolkata.

Hits: 7